Remember the time, way back in 2008, when the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reported that Evgeni Malkin was on the verge of being traded to the Los Angeles Kings? His name and that of his paper have now become synonymous with that fabled rumor, but they’ve outdone themselves on this one.
The same paper published a story early Wednesday morning that Sidney Crosby had been arrested in Ottawa on "driving-related" charges. Only one big problem with that, though: Crosby is currently training in Vail, Colo., which is 1,800 miles away from Ottawa.
Penguins confirm, Crosby is in Vail, Colorado training this week.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) September 3, 2014
I mean, if Malkin is on the Kings and Crosby is in an Ottawa jail, the Penguins might not be contenders in the East this season …
The quotes are pretty hilarious: the report had cited anonymous sources saying that Crosby had been taken in by the police, but no one bothered to get confirmation from the cops before hitting publish. The Chronicle Herald did, though, and here’s what the cops had to say:
"This is a total, out-and-out blatant lie, as far as I know," [Sgt. Steve] Hodgson said on Wednesday at about 6:20 a.m.
"I just talked to a couple guys in the back doing reports and they're like, ‘You gotta be joking. They're laughing.' It's like, really? You think he could have been snuck in here and out and nobody would have seen him?"
Hodgson spent a few minutes of his morning Googling the Pittsburgh Penguins centre to find out if he's done any interviews recently that could indicate his whereabouts.
"I'm trying to figure out where he actually is because we have no knowledge of this. We're totally dumbfounded here."
We don’t want to pin this all on the Ottawa Sun. In fact, the story was written by QMI Agency, another arm of the Quebecor media empire that also owns the Sun newspapers in major cities across Canada. The Sun papers, being a major part of the Quebecor network, pick up QMI stories on their myriad websites. Everybody involved is to blame for such an absurdly incorrect report about the NHL’s most recognizable face.
And whoever made the mistake of "reporting" this story probably should have seen right through it, because this doesn’t even pass the smell test.
Consider that just two months ago, Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux was actually arrested in Ottawa after grabbing the butt of a police officer while drunk on Canada Day. What are the chances that Crosby, the league’s best player and the chief rival of the Flyers and Giroux, was arrested in the same town? In the same offseason? Crosby doesn’t have any known ties to the Ottawa area, either. There’s no reason he’d be there, and he’s established a pattern of spending at least part of his summers in Colorado.
Somebody fooled a reporter big time here, and the jokes won’t end for a while. But at the end of the day, just remember: Sidney Crosby wasn’t arrested. Not in Ottawa, or anywhere.